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Some restaurants face worker shortage for Mother's Day weekend

Atomic omelette and Sang's Imperial Cafe hiring
Posted at 7:37 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 20:37:05-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Atomic Omelette said they opened last year on the day of the lockdown after they moved locations and said because of the pandemic, they’re struggling to hire people for busy days like Mother’s Day.

Atomic Omelette said they believe stimulus checks and a lack of desire to work may be contributing to their hiring struggle. Two months ago they had to close one day because they didn’t have enough staff to open the restaurant and much of their staff had already worked for six days.

They took to social media, looking for people to hire. Out of about 300 applicants, they only hired ten. About a week later that number dropped to seven that had stayed. Being first come, first served this Mother’s Day, they’re expecting a big turn out and it doesn’t come without its challenges.

“You want them to be able to enjoy the fact that they’re with their mothers and they’re celebrating that day with their mothers and they shouldn’t have to come in and worry about you know 'am I going to have food in the next 45 minutes to an hour? Am I going to wait an hour and half for a table? The kids are hungry…everybody’s getting fussy',” said manager Dana Bazinet.

All staff members are working on Mother’s Day and they are even bringing in three additional people to keep up with the demand, saying they want people to feel appreciated for coming in.

Sang’s Imperial Cafe is not open on Mother’s Day but is preparing for people that are coming to celebrate on Friday and Saturday, expecting to get more customers.

Sang’s Imperial Cafe said before the pandemic they had 30 workers and now they’re making do with just eight, having to work with only three workers at times.

The owner, Sang Sananikone, said they’re having to combine jobs like making waiters do some dishwashing and having workers do to-go orders and serve. Similar to Atomic Omelette, she said government hand-outs such as unemployment and stimulus checks are making it hard to hire people.

“We have to take one day at a time and we communicate with our staff….whoever even though we’re short handed….if something happens to them or to me….but we communicate and we recover so so far we’re still open,” Sananikone said.

She said they have to be honest with customers and tell them they have a smaller staff.

“We try our best but I am so blessed I have the best crew that will not only do one task but multitask to help each other,” she said.

She said she thinks this is a national issue because her sons also own a restaurant in Colorado and are experiencing the same thing.